| Canine Library:
Food-guarding is natural animal behavior, but it is not acceptable pet behavior. If your dog guards it food and won't let you near it, you must let it know that you control its eating habits. Make your dog work for its dinner. Put a spoonful of the meal into its dish, hold it up and make it sit. Praise the dog when it complies. Put the dish on the floor. When it finishes that tiny amount, make it sit. Pick up the dish, and repeat the process with the rest of the meal. Vary it by sometimes adding a small treat.
Your dog must learn that you are in charge of its food and that you may go near it whenever you wish. Be patient. It takes time to unlearn these things. Be sure to keep small children away from this dog while it's eating; don't take chances with a dog that may bite.
Author(s): McLennan, Bardi
Canine Library: General